The game of baseball can be cruel to the youngsters, and veterans on short-term contracts. It is cruel to those players with injuries. It is unfair to those who don’t get a fair chance. Then you have the question of: What have you done for me lately? That pertains to the players who have been great then fall into slumps. No two situations are the same. Ryan Zimmerman has never been benched or has it ever crossed his manager’s mind. Zimmerman has been the ongoing face of the Nationals franchise and he is beloved by all.
There are few teams that could do what the Red Sox did last week and kick Pablo Sandoval to the curb while he is still owed near $50,000,000 from the team. The Nationals don’t have a Sandoval issue on their hands; however, they are dealing with a baseball version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of baseball highs and lows. Ryan Zimmerman is batting .211 for the first 25 days of July. Since June 1st, Zimmerman is batting .255 giving a sample size of nearly 2 full months. In April, Zimmerman was red hot and hitting .420. Overall, Zimmerman is batting an excellent .317. Do you continue to look at the overall numbers to justify the player or do you look at the trend line which is on a steep decline.
With Ryan Zimmerman, it is best to deal with facts when looking at his season and his career. What might shock you is that Zimmerman has a .426 batting average on groundballs this season, and that is tops in the Majors for any player with 70 or more groundballs in play.
Zimmerman’s fWAR value is dropping although still good. He is at a +1.9 at this moment but had been much higher just a month ago. Zim still ranks 10th in the Majors in fWAR, and in comparison he was last for full-time 1st basemen last year.
Now to a larger issue, Ryan Zimmerman is dead last in field UZR for 1st baseman at a -5.0. Click here. UZR does not take into consideration the scooping ability of a 1st baseman on receiving balls in the dirt, and that will always be subjective as it is just recorded as an out and a chance every time a player catches the ball and steps on 1st base.
With Zimmerman, you are dealing with the worst fielding first baseman in baseball according to Fangraphs coupled with a player who is batting .255 for the past 2 months. The overall numbers for Zimmerman’s offense is still excellent no doubt.
“You have to continue to work and learn new things and adapt to stay healthy,” Ryan Zimmerman just said a few weeks ago. “I think, over the last two or three years, I’ve learned a lot about my body, and myself, and hopefully, I don’t have to go through it anymore.”